Reflective Writing


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Introduction to reflective writing

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Reflective Writing

  1. 1. Reflection <ul><li>A great deal of your time in science will be spent thinking ; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thinking about what people have said, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what you have read, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what you have observed, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what you yourself are thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and how your thinking has changed. </li></ul></ul>Figure 1: The Thinking Process (adapted from Mezirow 1990, Schon 1987, Brookfield 1987)
  2. 2. Reflection Is <ul><li>a form of personal response to experiences, situations, events or new information. </li></ul><ul><li>a 'processing' phase where thinking and learning take place . </li></ul>
  3. 3. Reflective Thinking <ul><li>Before you can begin to assess the words and ideas of others, you need to pause, identify and examine your own thoughts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doing this involves revisiting your prior experience and knowledge of the topic you are exploring. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It also involves considering how and why you think the way you do . </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Reflective Thinking <ul><li>It helps you to recognize and clarify the important connections between what you already know and what you are learning . </li></ul><ul><li>It is a way of helping you to become an active, aware and critical learner . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reflective Writing <ul><li>Reflective writing is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>your response to experiences, opinions, events, new information, thoughts and feeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a way of thinking to explore your learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>an opportunity to gain self-knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a chance to develop and reinforce writing skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a way of making meaning out of what you study </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reflective writing is not a summary of class activities </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Can I Write About? <ul><li>Your perceptions of the class and the content. </li></ul><ul><li>Your experiences, ideas and observations and how they relate to the class or topic. </li></ul><ul><li>What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting and why. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions you have. </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions you have drawn. </li></ul><ul><li>How you learned. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What Can I Write About? <ul><li>Alternative interpretations or different perspectives on what you have read or done in your class. </li></ul><ul><li>Comparisons and connections between what you are learning and: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>your prior knowledge and experience; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>your prior assumptions and preconceptions; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what you know from other classes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How new ideas challenge what you “already know”. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Writing Style <ul><li>You can be personal, hypothetical, critical and creative. You can comment based on your experience, integrating them with academic evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective writing is an activity that includes description (what, when, who) and analysis (how, why, what if). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Writing Style <ul><li>Descriptive (outlining what something is or how something was done) </li></ul><ul><li>Explanatory (explaining why or how it is like that) </li></ul><ul><li>Expressive (I think, I feel, I believe). </li></ul><ul><li>Use full sentences and complete paragraphs. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Levels Of Reflection <ul><li>Basic: A simple recall of events or a summary of class. There is no discussion beyond description. </li></ul><ul><li>Developing: S ome evidence of reflection, occasional connection to prior knowledge or current event.Uses primarily descriptive language. </li></ul><ul><li>Proficient: Demonstrates a ‘stepping back’ from events. There is consistent reflection showing various connections and awareness of learning process. </li></ul><ul><li>Exemplary: In addition demonstrates critical reflection, an awareness that the same actions and events may be seen in different contexts with different explanations. </li></ul>
  11. 11. References <ul><li>Brookfield, S 1987, Developing critical thinkers: challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting, Open University Press, Milton Keynes. </li></ul><ul><li>Mezirow, J 1990, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: a guide to transformative and emancipatory learning, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. </li></ul><ul><li>Schön, DA 1987, Educating the reflective practitioner, Jossey-Bass. San Francisco. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on a guide prepared by The Learning Centre, The University of New South Wales © 2008. This guide may be distributed or adapted for educational purposes. </li></ul>